Patient & Visitor Guide

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Welcome to ChristianaCare Health System. While you are our guest, we will work to give you quality care, safely and comfortably. Please take a moment to review your rights (things we will do for you) and responsibilities (things you can do for us) as a patient.

Complaints, concerns and questions

If you have a concern about the quality and safety of your care, please talk about this with your doctor or health care provider. If you still are concerned, please talk with:

  • Your nurse.
  • The nurse manager of the area.
  • A nursing supervisor.

You have the right to tell us about your concerns or complaints. You also have the right to talk to:


  • You have the right to be told about your rights and responsibilities as a patient as soon as possible.
  • You can have your home health care provider, a family member or another person of your choice called if you are admitted to the hospital.
  • You have the right to have information given to you in a way that you understand.
  • You have the right to have an interpreter or other aides with you if you don’t understand English or have other communication needs (for example, trouble hearing or seeing).
  • You have a right to see your records, unless for a medical reason your doctor asks the information be kept private.
  • We will help you see your medical records as quickly as we can.
  • You have the right to know the names and jobs of the people who are taking care of you.
  • You have the right to know if there is an unexpected event that happens during your care.

Participating in your care

  • You have the right to quality care regardless of your race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, source of payment or any other status that is an illegal basis for discrimination.
  • You have the right to share in your care, help make choices about your care, and be part of what will be done to take care of you. You also have a right to help make choices about how, where and when you leave.
  • You have the right to be told about your health.
  • You have the right to ask for care.
  • You have the right to not let someone give you care.
  • You have the right to be asked about your pain and have your pain treated.
  • You have the right to ask someone to be with you during certain parts of intimate exams, treatments or procedures.
  • You have the right to get help in getting a second opinion or changing to another health care provider, when you ask and at your own expense.
  • You have the right to leave and go to another facility, service or agency, when it is medically OK to do so. The other facility must say it is OK for you to come as a new patient first.
  • When you leave, you have the right to be told about what you need to do to keep yourself well.
  • You need to give us correct and complete information about yourself, such as your past and present sicknesses, what you take, your allergies and any other matters that have to do with your health.
  • You are responsible for telling us about changes in your health, medicines, insurance, financial status or service provider.
  • You are asked to follow the plan of care that you and your health care provider came up with. Please tell us right away if there is anything that you do not understand.

Advance directives

  • Advance directives (living will and power of attorney for health care) are legal papers that let you choose what you want to happen if you are no longer healthy enough to make choices for yourself. You have the right to have us follow your directions, as long as they are within the limits of the law and in agreement with our mission.
  • You should tell us you have an advance directive and give us a copy of when you are admitted.

Representatives and visitors

  • You have the right to say who can visit you during your stay. This can be your spouse, domestic partner (including same-sex partner), other family members, friends or anyone else you want to have come visit. Sometimes for a medical reason, we may need to limit visitors for your health and safety or the health and safety of other patients. We will let you know this and why.
  • If you have a person set up to make all your choices, you must tell them they need to be ready to review your care, if you are not able to do this for yourself.
  • Please remind your family and visitors to follow all ChristianaCare policies so all patients feel safe and comfortable while they are here.


  • You have a right to privacy. This includes when you are bathing or dressing, during treatments and whenever you ask, as we are able.
  • You have the right to not have your clothes off longer than needed for an exam or procedure.
  • You have a right to know that your case will be talked about privately, and that staff that are not taking care of you will not be present without your permission.
  • You must respect the privacy of other patients.
  • You have the right to expect your records are kept private. They will only be read by staff who are taking care of you or staff who are responsible for making sure you receive quality care. Other people can only read your medical records with your written permission or the written permission of your decision-maker.
  • You can expect that your records will be treated as confidential.


  • You have a right to be cared for safely, free from any abuse, harassment, neglect or physical punishment.
  • You have a right to be cared for without restraint or seclusion, unless it is needed to protect your immediate physical safety, or the safety of a staff member or others. Any such restraint or seclusion will be taken off or stopped as soon as possible.

Respect and consideration

  • You have the right to be cared for with kindness and respect.
  • You have the right to express your spiritual beliefs and cultural practices, while not interfering with the rights and beliefs of others.
  • You are expected to be respectful to other patients and staff.
  • You are expected to treat any health care equipment with care and safety.

Refusing care

  • If you choose to not be treated or do not follow the plan set up by you and your health care provide, you will be responsible for your actions.
  • You have the right to choose if you want to take part in any research study or educational project. You have the right to be told if you are being included in any such project, and you may refuse.

Billing and payment

  • You have the right to get a detailed explanation of your bills.
  • You have a right to receive information and counseling about financial aid for health care.
  • You are responsible for paying for the hospital care services.
  • You are responsible for your personal belongings.